In the realm of sensational musical discoveries, MRCY has emerged as a powerhouse with their stunning debut single, “Lorelei” now available under the Dead Oceans label. The producer-vocalist duo, consisting of Barney Lister and Kojo Degraft-Johnson, are set to grace the stage with their first live shows, joining Black Pumas on their UK/European tour in the upcoming spring.
MRCY’s sonic landscape is a harmonious blend of Marvin Gaye’s timeless warmth and the contemporary genre-melding sensibility akin to artists like Anderson .Paak, Khruangbin, and Sault.
As Barney describes it, their music feels like “hearing a distant memory,” a fusion that speaks to the present moment. Lorelei, their debut single, artfully combines commanding vocals, otherworldly psychedelics, and wistful arrangements, offering a classic yet contemporary experience.
Barney Lister, a prominent producer from Huddersfield, has earned his stripes as one of the UK’s most in-demand eclectic producers. His collaborations range from an Ivor Novello Award with Obongjayar to Mercury-nominated works with Joy Crookes and Olivia Dean. Kojo Degraft-Johnson, originating from South London, has made his mark in the music scene through church performances and collaborations with notable artists like Cleo Sol and Little Simz.
The dynamic duo’s collaboration blossomed during the pandemic when they connected over Instagram. Meeting up in Brixton between lockdowns allowed MRCY’s sound and bond to deepen. Despite the inevitable influence of social and political chaos on their upcoming project, MRCY’s essence is rooted in the need for common ground—universal yet deeply individual experiences of class, community, and the unifying power of music.
MRCY’s music, as exemplified by ‘Lorelei,’ offers a unique perspective on soul through the contemporary looking glass. Their approach is not just about the music but also about putting oneself first, intertwined with the spirit of compassion, empathy, and mercy—a sentiment that resonates profoundly in today’s world.
As MRCY continues to carve their path in the music scene, they embody Barney’s belief that soul is about “good people making music that matters.” With their debut single and upcoming projects, MRCY provides a blissful respite and an intoxicating soundtrack to navigate the madness of everyday life.
The journey of MRCY promises to be a soulful odyssey, blending individual perspectives with universal experiences, crafting a narrative that invites audiences to find solace and connection through their music.
Listen to “Lorelei” below!